A new twist in the ongoing saga of British publisher Digital Jesters has come in the form of a $5 million investment being made by US firm Myriad Interactive in a new company, The DJ Group, which is taking over the Digital Jesters name.
The investment is described by Myriad as one of the largest single investments in the UK games industry in recent years, and the firm is planning for rapid expansion of the DJ Group over the coming year. Several senior staff from Digital Jesters are moving to the new group, including founders Terry Malham and Leo Zullo.
The DJ Group plans to operate a number of labels aimed at different market segments, including Digital Jesters, DJ Interactive, DJ Distribution, Turtle Games and Monte Cristo, and the firm is considering using acquisitions to speed up its expansion.
"We've big plans for the DJ group," according to Myriad Interactive boss Marco Landi, who was formerly president and COO of Apple Computer. "We've already set up our infrastructure, and it's our intention that this new group will quickly grow through expansion and acquisition into a real major player."
The firm's first major title will be Crazy Frog Racer, based on the popular (if that's the right word) ringtone character, which was originally a Digital Jesters title and will be published by DJ Group on PC and PS2 on December 9th.
The news of the creation of The DJ Group comes after weeks of controversy over the fate of Digital Jesters, with several developers accusing the company of non-payment and breach of contract, although Digital Jesters itself described the problem as a simple cashflow issue and said that it was being resolved with the help of new investment.
A spokesperson for DJ Group informed GamesIndustry.biz today that all of those outstanding claims are still to be resolved with Digital Jesters, as Myriad Interactive has not taken over the company or any of its debts. Digital Jesters intends to fight the court actions being taken by the development studios, he confirmed.